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MARTIN ON ENGLAND BOYS

Posted on 8 May 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol was delighted with Aaron Lennon's inclusion in England's World Cup squad - but naturally disappointed for Ledley King and Jermain Defoe.

Martin Jol was delighted with Aaron Lennon's inclusion in England's World Cup squad - but naturally disappointed for Ledley King and Jermain Defoe.

Aaron, who only recently turned 19, capped a memorable season by being named in Sven Goran Eriksson's 23-man squad.

He joined Paul Robinson, Michael Carrick and Jermaine Jenas in the 23 but Jermain Defoe was only named on stand-by and Ledley King, recovering from injury, missed out all together.

It's the ultimate accolade for Aaron after making 29 appearances including 22 starts in his first season at Spurs.

He scored two goals, won his first England Under-21 caps, was on the shortlist for the PFA Young Player of the Year Award and won our JSMs Young Player of the Year Award. Now Germany awaits.

"It’s great news for Aaron," said Martin. "He’s such an exciting talent.

"He’s developed quickly, he’s a bright lad and hopefully he’ll play some part because that will be a great experience for him and we’ll benefit from it as well."

Martin also had positive words for Jermaine, Michael and Robbo.

"Michael’s had such a fantastic season," he continued.

"I said when I took over that he would be our fifth England squad member and I’ve been proved right.

"He has a massive influence on our midfield, is always fit and even when he’s injured he shows great character, he has stamina and is arguably the best at that position in England.

"JJ has showed real consistency and he’s scored the goals we predicted he would – we asked for six or seven and he did that. He’s fulfilled my expectations and what I had in mind from him.

"Robbo was the easy one. I don’t really even have to say well done because he’s England’s number one and he’s proved that."

Martin expected Jermain - on target at West Ham on Sunday - to travel to Germany and was bitterly disappointed for Ledley.

He added: "I think it’s amazing Jermain’s not in the squad but he’s on standby and with the situation with Rooney and Owen I still believe he will be in there.

"I’m disappointed for Ledley because it’s about fitness and he just got the injury at the wrong time. He’s been outstanding for us and it’s only because of his injury that’s he’s not there."